FIFA has announced the launch of what it has called a “groundbreaking talent development programme” with the aim of reducing the gap between the world’s leading football nations and the rest.
The programme was launched by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is now working as the head of global development at world football’s governing body.
“We are launching the FIFA Talent Development Programme to ensure that every talent gets a chance,” said Wenger in Doha, where he has been attending a five-day FIFA-run workshop.
“The difference in the level of play between Europe and the rest of the world has become bigger,” added the Frenchman.
“In many countries, the focus of the association is mainly on the senior national team, but this national team is always the consequence of football development across the country.
“We need more youth competitions to identify talent, offer them a pathway and develop coaching.”
The FIFA programme will allow all 211 member associations “to benefit from a FIFA assessment of the various areas of their high-performance ecosystem in both men’s and women’s football, including all national teams, domestic leagues, scouting projects and academies”.
FIFA says its programme will help develop home-grown coaches, technical directors and provide specialised courses for goalkeeping coaches, futsal and beach soccer.